Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I hate homework clutter - a quick organization project


 OK, I really don't hate homework. What I hate is homework clutter. There, I've said it. My big soon to be five year old has pre-school homework every evening. Which I totally believe is important. I enjoy sitting at the kitchen table in the evening watching him work on writing his letters and words and listening to him learn to read. I like playing math games. Well, at least I like math games now. Ask me again in a few years when I am struggling with elementary school math. So, back to the pre-school homework. I know the importance of a parent being present during homework time. And not only do I know that my son's study habits are being formed right now, I also enjoy homework time.

But the clutter! That constant flow of papers that catch a ride home with my son every day in his lunch box. When my big soon to be five year old made the switch from daycare to pre-school I began putting his homework papers and small pamphlet style reading books in a folder. Then we could never find a pencil. At any given time in this house we have one pencil. One unsharpened pencil. So then I started putting the pencil in the folder too. Leaving the homework folder on the kitchen counter assured that we saw it daily, reminding us to actually do the homework resting inside. But the counter also assured that occasionally the folder, and all of it's contents, got wet. And that damn pencil was still always rolling around, getting lost or broken. And don't even get me started on my battery powered pencil sharpener that never had any batteries in it. So I moved the folder to inside the kitchen cupboard. Now it was no longer getting wet but it was often forgotten. And sometimes when the cupboard door was opened the folder would just shoot out and hit me on the head.

So it has been days  weeks  at least a month since we have done homework. Enough is enough already!

Today I take back my counter and cupboard space while finding a way to have the big soon to be five year old remind me to get the homework done.

Using a plastic coated accordion file, letter stickers, a clothes pin and some mod podge I now have a file that will hold all the homework and small books and pencils, along with some surprise "homework complete" stickers.  Simply arrange the letter stickers to spell the child's name and mod podge over to assure they stick - remember, this folder should get daily use! I placed a exclamation point sticker on one side of the clothespin and a question mark sticker on the other side- this way I will know if the home work has been done that night or not. Question mark? Not done. Exclamation point? Done!

This file will hang on the refrigerator from a magnet hook, just low enough for the big soon to be five year old to reach it and just high enough for the tiny toddler to not reach it.

hanging homework file

Looks good in my kitchen, hangs almost out of sight, and is easy for my little scholar to get on his own, which means he can start practicing his letters while I am still loading the dinner dishes into the dishwasher. He is so getting an "A"!

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